Lake Forest College In The Loop is the College’s residential Chicago semester. Students complete up to 300 internship hours while completing coursework at the Loop campus, at our Loop partner universities and colleges, or on Lake Forest College’s main campus. Students reside in downtown Chicago and study distinctive aspects of the city through academic programming and co-curricular activities. This program is offered during both fall and spring semesters.
Please read our Loop Guidebook for frequently asked questions and important policies.
To be eligible to participate in this program, students must have and/or be:
- A strong interest in experiencing the many resources offered by an immersive Chicago experience.
- Good academic and judicial standing during time of application and time of participation in program.
- A minimum GPA of 2.5 for the academic program. Certain internships may require higher GPAs or specific coursework/experience.
- Completed at least two semesters of study and hold junior status or above at Lake Forest College before participation.
- At least 18 years of age by the program’s start date.
- Able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam periods.
Students must reside at The Flats, a residential building located in the South Loop in the heart of the Wabash Arts Corridor.
Through the academic program and co-curricular activities, students learn about various distinctive aspects of Chicago, including the city’s history, economy, politics, architecture, art and relationship to the natural environment.
Students acquire a broader perspective and learn to relate their Chicago-based semester to their overall Lake Forest education.
Lake Forest College In The Loop offers a wide-ranging, flexible, yet focused academic program featuring internships, courses taught by Lake Forest faculty, and courses from our Loop program partners: Roosevelt University (RU), Columbia College Chicago (CCC), the School of the Art Institute (SAIC).
The academic program is a full-semester, four-credit curriculum. While participating in the In The Loop program, you will complete an academic internship of two credits, totaling 300 hours over the course of the semester. Given the experiential/immersive nature of the program, the internship is a key component of the In The Loop program.
You will also complete up to two additional academic credits, chosen from:
1. ITL option: Courses offered by the Lake Forest College In The Loop program (ITL) and taught by our faculty at the Loop campus.
The Loop always offers LOOP 202: Professional Development in the 21st Century (1 credit).
Each semester, the In The Loop program offers a second course taught by Lake Forest College faculty.
The ITL courses are scheduled on a single day to provide maximum flexibility for your internship schedule.
Further, the In The Loop program offers the optional LOOP 201: In The Loop Practicum, a .5-credit experience that can be used to achieve four transfer credits if you choose to take courses from RU, SAIC, or CCC that do not transfer in as full credits.
2. Campus option: Courses offered at Lake Forest College main campus.
Please note that the provided links will take you to view the course catalogs of each college so that you may understand their offerings, but that we cannot guarantee they will be offered each semester, nor can we guarantee admittance to any/all partner institution courses.
Under this option, students may take up to two courses at any one partner institution. Students may take one course at a partner institution, and other courses with the ITL option or on-campus Lake Forest College courses.
Students that choose the Partner Institution option (RU, CCC, or SAIC) may also need to take LOOP 201 to maintain four credits for the semester.
Please Note: Students may only take courses at a Partner Institution that count towards a required credit for either their major/minor, as opposed to having a “general interest” in any particular course or for their Forester Fundamental Curriculum (FFC). Courses must support your academic programs and be approved by your Academic Advisor(s).
Incoming ISEP students must take ITL courses or taught on Lake Forest College’s main campus.
All students are required to complete an academic internship as part of the In The Loop program.
Students work with their assigned Career Advancement Center Internship Specialist with assistance from Loop staff. Past internships include:
Business and Finance Pathway:
- Chicago Board of Trade
- World Bicycle Relief
- St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
- Satori Energy
- Pro Sports Experience
Creative Arts Pathway:
- Art Institute of Chicago
- The Newberry Library
- The Goodman Theatre
- Museum of Contemporary Art
- Leslie Hindman Auctioneers
Law and Public Service Pathway:
- Chicago Council on Global Affairs
- Domestic Violence Legal Clinic
- NFL, Pro Sports Experience
- John Marshall Veteran’s Clinic
Science and Health Care Pathway:
- The Shedd Aquarium
- The Field Museum
- Designs for Dignity
- Chicago Area Runners Association
- Chicago Smell and Taste Treatment & Research Foundation
Build Your Own Pathway:
- National Kidney Foundation
- Splash Magazine
- University of Chicago Press
- Lyric Opera of Chicago
Whether through course excursions and public performances such as concerts or plays, or through fun, co-curricular programming organized by Residence Life and the Center for Chicago Programs, the In The Loop programs offers students the opportunity to explore and experience all of what Chicago has to offer.
Students live on the fourteenth and fifteenth floors of The Flats, located in Chicago's South Loop neighborhood, and within walking distance to most of Chicago’s top museums and attractions, including Millennium Park, Lake Michigan, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Up to 20 students may live in double-occupancy bedrooms, two to three bedrooms in each apartment. Each bedroom is equipped with desks, bed, wardrobes, and dressers. Each apartment contains a common area, bathroom, and kitchen. Apartments are provided with cable TV in the common room and internet/wifi throughout the apartment. All apartments feature floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Lake Michigan and/or the city skyline.
Students are given a meal spending allotment. This meal allotment will be paid out in equal installments every two weeks through the semester. The money will be direct deposited into students’ checking accounts, which will allow you to purchase groceries at local grocery stores and then bring those groceries back to their residence hall kitchen to cook/eat. Students also have the option to opt-out of this distribution and receive all meal funds at the start of the semester.
For all programs, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee. The program fee for the In The Loop program includes orientation, housing, a U-Pass for CTA travel, meet-ups with alumni, internship supervision, and a meal stipend.
Here is an estimated budget for your 2020/21 program:
|Lake Forest College Tuition||$24,460|
|Program Deposit (credit)||($500)|
|Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College||$30,960|
|Program Deposit (non-refundable)||$500|
|Total Out-of-Pocket Expenses||$500|
Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of February 2020.
Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate.
Loop students must live at The Flats, and the program cannot accommodate commuter students. Therefore, while the program costs are structured to be comparable to those for on-campus students, on-campus commuters will pay additional costs for Loop room and board.
Do check your student account on my.lakeforest for your aid awards, as most of this will go with you. If you want to compare your program to the cost of being on campus, those numbers can be found here.
Lake Forest College Sponsored Program
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Languages of Instruction
English (multiple other languages may be offered for study)
How to Apply
Access the 2021-22 Application here
Applications for the 2021-22 In The Loop program will continue to be accepted through the Spring 2021 Semester.
Please note that the In The Loop program is rolling admission and that applications are reviewed as they are received.